Tuesday, Nov. 4, is election day. We will have the opportunity to vote for candidates who are running for federal and state offices. You should plan to get to the polls early on Tuesday as a large voter turnout is anticipated.
Unless you've been comatose for the past year, you have probably heard plenty about the race for president of the United States of America. In fact, presidential politics and the national economy dominate our news these days.
Barack Obama and Joe Biden are the Democratic nominees for president and vice president, respectively. On the Republican ticket, John McCain is running for president with Sarah Palin as vice president. There are also five sets of thirdparty candidates on the Rhode Island ballot, but I don't believe anyone is taking their candidacies seriously.
There does not appear to be any doubt that Obama and Biden will handily sweep Rhode Island and win the Ocean State's four electoral votes. Eight years of a GOP administration has left our country with two wars we cannot win, an economy in a downward spiral, rising unemployment and inflation, a broken healthcare system, and a social security program that will soon run out of money.
I know my Republican friends will disagree with me, but I believe our country needs a new direction and Obama appears to be the best choice for our national leadership in these troubled times.
Rhode Island voters will also elect a U.S. Senator on Tuesday. Jamestown resident Jack Reed, a Democratic incumbent, deserves our vote. Reed has assumed a strong leadership role in the Senate, where he has already served two terms. We've heard little from his opponent, Republican Robert Tingle.
Democratic incumbent Patrick Kennedy is the obvious selection for our Congressional representative from District 1. Kennedy has proven that he is able to deliver sound constituency service over the years. His opponents — Republican Jonathan Scott and Independent Kenneth Capalbo — have been quiet.
Two islanders are running for the Statehouse in this election. Republican Donna Perry of Jamestown is challenging incumbent Democrat Teresa Paiva Weed in the race for the Senate. Democrat Deb Ruggiero, also of Jamestown, is bidding to unseat incumbent Republican Bruce Long in District 74 of the House of Representatives.
Both races feature veteran politicians who have done a decent job for Jamestown residents over the years. They are facing stiff challenges from islanders who offer new ideas and a new approach. I believe Jamestown would be well served by any of the candidates running for either state General Assembly offices.
Do your part on Tuesday. Go to the polls and vote.
— Jeff McDonough